Days of Change

The Black Version

April 23, 2016
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This song was written by Prince for Morris Day and the Time. There’s an article about it on

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Beating Trump

April 22, 2016

One of the arguments for a Trump nomination is that he could win New York State. New York is quite a prize. It still is in the top 5 in Electoral votes.No Republican has won the state in a presidential election since Ronald Reagan’s near clean sweep in 1984. George H. W.  Bush came close in 1988 with a loss by 4%. It got considerably worse after that.

New York holds a closed primary and the time to change party registration was in 2015, well after the first state contests. Many independent or Democrat Trump supporters were out of luck. Also, the Democratic Party primary was slightly more competitive. However, there is a pretty stark indication of how hard it would be for Donald Trump to win New York in a general election.

Democrats outvoted Republicans 1.7 million to 850,000, about a 2:1 ratio. Not only did Hillary Clinton get more votes than Trump, Bernie Sanders got more votes than Trump and John Kasich combined. Trump may beat polls and expectations, but taking NY in November would have to be a tidal wave of proportions that have never been seen in the Trump phenomenon.

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Let’s Go Crazy

April 21, 2016

The music of Prince is ingrained into my childhood. His war with the music industry came in the 90’s and led to a more sporatic output, but a high quality of music. For all his public persona, Prince was an amazing guitarist, writer, singer and performer until his death this morning.

I know so much of Prince’s music, I have a hard time thinking of a favorite song. Of course, there’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” There’s also less frenetic songs like “Diamonds and Pearls.” There are collaborations as well as his producing.

I think “Let’s Go Crazy” covers a lot of the bases for today lyrically.


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Driving Trump

April 20, 2016

Donald Trump did exactly as well as he had to in New York. He got 60% of the popular vote and at least 91 delegates. He managed to beat John Kasich, his real competition, almost everywhere. Trump currently has 48% of delegates distributed and needs about 53% of the delegates still outstanding. He has a path to 1237 delegates.

Now, for the cold water. More than double the number of Democrats voted in New York than Republicans. The Democratic race was arguably more competitive, but that kind of turnout does not bode well for a Trump win in New York on Election Day. Trump’s average vote is still 35% and his average delegate take is still around 45%. It is mathematically impossible for him to reach 1237 pledged delegates before June 7.

We tend to remember general election losers more than those who fail to get a party nomination. Much like his supporters, Donald Trump thinks he can win the whole enchilada. How exactly did he think he was going to do it? The eleven dimensional chess crowd probably thinks what’s gong on is all to plan.  Somehow he planned to lose Iowa and Colorado, for example, as a way to attack Ted Cruz. My theory goes something like this.

Donald Trump wanted to run for president because he thinks making money makes him a genius. He didn’t want to go third party, even though he seems to hate everything about Republicans, because many states don’t put third parties on the ballot until they’ve succeeded in at least one previous election. He chose the Republicans because they could run against Hillary and Obama pretty well without having a strong affirmative platform.

Initially, Trump probably figured that his name recognition along with a platform of taking the strongest stand on certain conservative issues would give him an advantage up front. Then, a movement would grow and eventually he would be the obvious choice. Then Ted Cruz beat him in Iowa out of nowhere.

The Trump version of a nomination campaign began in earnest. His advantage over other campaigns is that he could self-finance. The other is that he’s cheap. Trump booked huge, inexpensive venues (like old airplane hangers) and gave charged, barn-burner speeches. He went on a non-stop attack on anything in his way, be it other candidates, George W. Bush, the Republican Party, Fox News or basically anyone representing any media organization. This continued for weeks. Eventually other candidates had to drop out because all they had was money and no popular support.

Then there’s Ted Cruz. Originally, Cruz was the true conservative that the party didn’t like. His secret weapon was a team that knew how to work caucus votes and run a successful campaign. Had he been approved by the GOP leadership, financial support and endorsements would have flowed to him. Instead, John Kasich is part of the Hail Mary plan to create a firewall against Trump. Since Kasich won a whole 4 delegates in New York and is now behind Trump in the next 6 states, refusing to back Cruz worked out for Trump.

Instead of gaining momentum, Trump has mostly stayed around 35%, sometimes getting in the 40’s, sometimes in the 20’s. New York is a fluke, the first time he got more than 49%. The anti-Trump contingent is still strong and it will cost the Republicans the election in November. I might vote for him, but Trump supporters already think I’m jealous and don’t share Trump’s awesome winning values. Trump thinks acting presidential for 1-2 days at a time will heal the rift in the party. Him losing the general election will heal it a lot faster.

Trump has a chance to win the nomination. I’m sure he thinks he can beat Hillary because he doesn’t understand how the media works. He was stymied for a week over an abortion question from Tingles. If he thought he didn’t have a chance, he would have dropped out by now. Then again, he’s also laying groundwork for his famous “I didn’t declare bankruptcy” routine with this conspiracy theory about state contests. I also read that he’s putting $20 million into securing the nomination, which sounds like he’s rolling the dice.

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New York Sucks Again

April 19, 2016

It’ll probably be quite late before we find out if Donald Trump lost any of the 95 delegates up for grabs in New York. After months of campaigning and a little over a month before the end of primary season, Donald Trump got more than 50% of the vote in his first state. Woo. Hoo.

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The New York Election That Counts

April 18, 2016
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I understand how trendy it is to talk about direct democracy and disenfranchisement, but this really is a concept generated by the fact that Donald Trump couldn’t win certain states with 35% of the vote. Ted Cruz captured delegates in smaller states without a standard caucus or primary because loyalty counts and knowing your party is important in choosing your party’s standard bearer.

Now, if you don’t like Republicans but enjoy Trump’s hostile takeover, remember this. The Electoral College disenfranchises many voters in winner-take-all states where the vote is close. In New York, maybe 40% of people never get their preference. Unlike each party’s nomination process, this is something right out of the Constitution. Whatever you think about that system, it managed to keep the US from the universal socialism many other countries with more direct democracy live with now.

What I know is that I have some say in who gets delegates tomorrow. Of course, it’s either Trump or Kasich in New York’s case. I know for sure that New York is going for Hillary Clinton in the general election. It’s going to be a stretch for Trump to get over 50% even from Republicans.

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The Lethal Weapon Syndrome

April 17, 2016

If anyone reading at The Crawdad Hole is wondering why I comment less, here’s why. Virtually everyone there is either a Trump supporter or enjoys the chaos of a Trump campaign. I am tired of having my comments re-interpreted, being called an asshole or worse and interpreting my motives. I might be back around July when this thing is resolved one way or another.

I decided to answer “then what” about Ted Cruz winning on a second ballot. My answer is that he becomes the nominee. I didn’t realize the question was really “How can Ted Cruz win against Hillary?” I chose to stop there. There isn’t an answer to that question that won’t lead to one sided attacks. I was even attacked in absentia.

Now, I’m moving on to a more interesting question. How can Donald Trump win against Hillary? For the last couple of months, I have been leaning toward the answer that he doesn’t win. A Trump win at the GOP convention will be based on an average popular vote of 35% and the advantage of getting a plurality in a 3-12 way race. He does worse among Independents and Democrats than Republicans and he’s at about 50% among Republicans. His numbers are terrible with women. If there’s a third-party candidate, he will only take votes away from the Republicans.

Now, why are Trump supporters sure that he will beat Hillary. First, you have to believe in massive conspiracies. This isn’t just the liberal media. You have to believe that the networks, the cable news channels, the print media, Fox News and many conservative media, along with both parties, all have a secret, yet pervasive system in place that essentially encompasses everyone on Earth who isn’t you and Donald Trump. At the same time, you have to believe that Trump is a sort of Ayn Rand Superman who can break though this wall of opposition with the strength of his character and the will of his supporters.

Tactically, you have to believe in the legend of Ronald Reagan as ultimate cowboy. One of the stories about Reagan is that his detractors pained him as crazy and willing to push the button at a moment’s notice. That possibility forced the Soviets to deal with him because they didn’t want to get on his bad side. Most likely, the commies made a deal because their economy was a few years away from collapse and the USSR fell two years after Reagan left office.

I think of it more like “Lethal Weapon.” Mel Gibson played Riggs, a cop who was a little crazy and everyone thought was a lot crazy. Riggs was able to get things done no one else could because he didn’t do things the way everyone else did. Trump is an unconventional candidate and that alone seems to draw a substantial level of support.

My problem is that Riggs is more like Mel Gibson than people originally thought. After becoming a billionaire by going outside Hollywood to produce “The Passion of the Christ” he became more strange and isolated, erupting into racist rants around people. I’m not saying Trump is a racist. I am saying that there is a fine line between good crazy and bad crazy. In fact the line is so faint, I don’t want to pin my hopes on Martin Riggs for President.

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April 16, 2016
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Honestly, if the table of delegate counts and wins has as many notes as the ones around the web, it’s very hard to understand how they are awarded. However, Ted Cruz apparently won 14 of them today. I think that adds up to 23 including a previous caucus. Or maybe they’re unpledged. Then again, the people who won pledged themselves to Cruz.

Now Trump needs to grab about 500 of the less than 800 delegates not spoken for or assigned. Chances are that if Trump can’t win on a first ballot, he sure won’t win on a second. New York will go a long way to that goal, but those numbers are baked into the cake. The loss of even a handful of NY delegates will require the campaign to fight in remaining contests.

After New York, the race starts to look good for Kasich, except for the fact that he needs 130% of unpledged delegates to get the nomination. However, fewer than 1237 delegates for Trump means a second ballot at the RNC and that means Trump loses. At best, Kasich should settle for a VP slot in a Cruz administration.

By guessing at the math and current polling, Trump will continue to get about 45% of the delegates and need to get about 55% to get to 1237. Kasich has no shame and will continue to run. Cruz could very well reach the point of mathematical impossibility by April 26, but that same possibility is looming closer for Trump as well.

On the plus side, there’s almost a reason to vote Tuesday. On the minus side, I might have to vote for Kasich.

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The Kasich Contingency

April 15, 2016
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This weeks, it seems there are two lessons in New York. One is that NY is not a winner-take-all state. The other lesson is that John Kasich is more popular than Ted Cruz. This leads to an interesting idea. In the 30 or so districts of New York, if Trump gets less than 50% and Kasich gets more than 20%, Kasich can win 1 out of 3 delegates. In a tight race, Trump could fall below 1237 just by losing a handful of New York delegates.

Cruz and Cruz PACs are running ads, but Cruz himself has moved on to California. He’s not likely to win any delegates. His job is only to soften Trump’s support enough for Kasich to snatch delegates from Trump. It’s kind of like Trump pitting his competitors against each other to keep their delegate counts down. Except when Trump does it, he is righteously with the angels, or something.

It’s just too bad Kasich has no chance of winning. He gave a good speech countering Trump’s doom and gloom upstate message the other day.

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Whinin’ Don

April 14, 2016

On the verge of the New York primary, Donald Trump is about to do two things. He’s likely to get all the delegates in his fourth state and get over 50% of the vote for the first time in this contest season. But mostly, he just whines about everyone else putting him down.

I’ve decided to start calling Trump “Whinin’ Don” as an homage to his Lyin’ Ted moniker for Senator Cruz. Although it hit twitter before I wrote about it, I came up with it independently. I also have to say that it’s ridiculous to talk about how you’e winning everything but can’t deal with losing some state delegates because you can’t go to 3 meetings.

I don’t think Trump lies so much as creates his own reality where Fox hates him, but Fox and Friends love him or where he takes all the delegates in a state with 33% of the vote and somehow that’s not disenfranchising voters. I suspect whining will got to an all-time high on June 7.

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